Reevaluating the legacy of progressive rock

The rise and fall of progressive rockIn the introduction to his book “The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock,” David Weigel points out that rock critics have traditionally heaped praise on punk rock while disparaging progressive rock. I’ve noticed this tendency, too, over the years. Yes, prog rock could sometimes be pretentious and bloated. But you could equally criticize punk for being crude and simplistic. Weigel aims to correct this imbalance by telling the story of prog rock. Continue reading →

Horror Toronto: New One-Stop Source for All Things Horror

Horror Toronto logoAs the bewitching season of Halloween approaches, Toronto has a new online resource for all things horror, supernatural, and dark fantasy. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, Horror Toronto catalogs the city’s wealth of offerings from festivals to shopping to performers like the Diet Ghosts. Toronto has become a hidden gem for horror fans. One of the most iconic horror magazines, Rue Morgue, has its headquarters here. And Casa Loma’s annual Legends of Horror is perhaps the premier haunted attraction in North America. All of this activity needed a bigger profile, compiled in one place for easy access. And that’s why I created this one-stop source. Continue reading →

Licensing music for my new song–should I do it?

Microphone / Licensing TracksA couple of young performers I know—a singer and and a rapper—recently exposed me to the concept of licensing music tracks from a producer. I’m not talking about royalty-free music or beats, for which you pay a flat fee. No, these fully-realized tracks are governed by narrow limitations where the producer has complete control and the artist almost none. I want to talk about how these are usually a terrible idea for recording artists. Continue reading →

The complete list of witch songs – with the top 13

Witch songs imageThis is a list of witch songs. That is, songs about witches. You’ll find these songs in just about every genre from jazz to rock to soul to Broadway to rap, decade after decade, proving the enduring power of the imagery. Especially as a metaphor for the enchantment of love. Often the lure is tinged with danger. Or at least mystery. I’ve selected thirteen of the best, most enchanting tunes for the first part of the list. In the second part you’ll find a compilation of additional songs. While many more songs reference witches in passing (like “Sister Janet” by Tori Amos), this list focuses on witches as the main subject of the song. And for the most part, these are the original recordings, not covers. Continue reading →